Donald Trump has not built a stone wall forbidding any of his administration and any documents from going to the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry. No, POTUS built a stone White House with doors too small to allow people to get out for the hearings. Still, a few patriotic heroes escaped through the attic. Look what Trump tried next.
In the case of the president’s retired top Russia and Ukraine expert Dr. Fiona Hill, the administration decided to let her testify. However, the White House wrote warning her attorneys that there were limits to what she could say. They said she needed to avoid areas of executive privilege.
White House Deputy Counsel Michael Purpura emailed Hill’s attorney Lee Wolosky, according to NBC News:
‘As the White House Counsel has explained, there is no valid impeachment inquiry underway.’
Letters to her attorneys directed her to avoid:
- ‘Direct communications with the president
- Diplomatic communications
- Meetings with other heads of state, and
- Staffing the president included on calls with foreign heads of state’
The letter to her attorneys said:
‘[I]t is incumbent on Dr. Hill and you, as her counsel, to guard against unauthorized disclosure. To be clear, Dr. Hill is not authorized to reveal or release any classified information or any information subject to executive privilege.’
Hill was subpoenaed for the impeachment inquiry. Once there, she testified for over nine hours. A couple of representatives who had served for decades came out of the hearing saying that she was the best witness they had ever had.
One said she was very smart, Hill has two doctoral degrees, and speculated that she had an eidetic (near photographic) memory.
The impeachment inquiry did delve into Trump’s communications with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The president was running a parallel secret investigation into creating “dirt” on former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
It seems, the commander-in-chief believed that Biden was his top competitor in the 2020 presidential election. The president’s people found no guilt either Biden’s actions. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy country during the time his father was vice president for President Barack Obama.
Hill’s attorney responded to Trump’s attorneys saying executive privilege was not applicable, because the information was already in the public domain. In addition, executive privilege does not apply when the conversations occur in the midst of committing a crime.
Although Hill did not release her opening statement, she did intend to testify that the president’s TV attorney and fixer Rudy Giuliani and the Trump-appointed U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland created a shadow Ukraine operation.
NBC News reported that a source close to the closed-door hearing said it went according to her anticipated testimony. She was concerned about Giuliani’s operation and also the unfair removal of then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order